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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1983 Apr;27(1):38-50.

Impaired cell-mediated immunity in Plasmodium falciparum-infected patients with high-parasitemia and cerebral malaria.


Several cell-mediated functions were studied in vivo and in vitro in 63 Thai patients with acute falciparum malaria, including 21 cases with cerebral manifestations and 10 cases with initial parasitemia over 10%. Initial delayed cutaneous reactions to phytohemagglutinin and soluble protein antigens were negative in most cerebral malaria cases. In other patients, skin reactions were impaired or abolished as a direct function of parasitemia. No major alteration in the numbers of blood T and B lymphocytes was found. In lymphocyte cultures, proliferative responses to lectins were generally found within normal ranges; in contrast, proliferative responses to candidin were suppressed in parallel with delayed cutaneous responses to the same antigen. From these data, it can be concluded that the alteration of specific cell-mediated responses are predominantly detectable in acute cases with major parasite invasion, i.e., high parasitemia and/or cerebral manifestations. A direct role of Plasmodium falciparum was further suggested by the rapid restoration of cell-mediated functions observed in several cases under successful antimalarial therapy. These results do not support any evidence in favor of a preexisting cellular immune deficiency in relation with the occurrence of cerebral or high-parasitemia acute malaria in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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